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"El Chapo" trial: Drug kingpins "secretary" testifies against him

The person who once served as the "right" and "left" man for notorious lawyer Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman began to testify against his "chief" in court Thursday in New York City.

Alex Cifuentes comes from a Colombian family called Cifuentes Villa. In fact, his brother, Jorge, earlier testified in Guzman's conspiracy charges, and had introduced the two.


Cifuents eventually moved to the mountains of Culiacan, Mexico, where Guzman hid and became his "secretary", which El Chapo would call him. The witness said he negotiated cocaine business for Guzman in addition to Colombia and would help him sell drugs in New York and Canada.


Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, others from the right, in court Thursday.
(Sketch by Jane Rosenberg)

Chapo and Cifuentes, who had not seen each other for at least a couple of years, were face to face today. When the witness entered the courtroom, Guzman looked after him and let him nod. Cifuentes nodded back as he put his right hand on his chest as a sign of respect.

Cifuentes asked to identify El Chapo; he got up and pointed to the drug manager who was sitting on the defense table. Requested to be more specific, he said it was the first time he had seen Guzman in the suit – which has become the norm for kingpin during his attempt.

The witness, who said he worked for Guzman between 2007 and 2013, testified of some offers where he was involved, and how he once "sent a flight to Mexico for Chapo with 440 kilos of cocaine."

Another time he said they met after Cifuente's brother Francisco or "Pachito" had been murdered and Chapo asked to meet his widow. The witness recalled discussing with another brother, Jorge, which of Pachito's five widows would they send. Finally, he said that Chapo met Patricia Rodriguez – and another coke shop was made.


At another meeting, Cifuentes said he brought his brother's Francis "favorite chef". The prosecutor asked him to clarify: "What kind of chef?" He replied, "cocaine cook".

Cifuents were then added: "They discussed a 10 kilo cocaine shipment." He (Guzman) wanted a 50 percent credit. As a good businessman … he always tried to get a lot. "

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